Orthodox celebrations in Bali

Many Christians in the world will be celebrating Christmas and New Year on 7th and 14th of January. Due to a difference in calendars, January 6th marks Christmas Eve for many Orthodox churches and their New Year’s Eve is on 13th of January.

This is because some countries use a different calendar. In the West, the Gregorian calendar is used, originally proposed by Pope Gregory in 1582. But in much of the former Soviet bloc and the Middle East they remain on the Julian calendar, created under the reign of Julius Caesar in 45 BC. The Julian calendar pre-dates the Gregorian calendar for and December 25th on the Julian calendar actually falls on January 7th on the Gregorian calendar Lots of Russians, Ukrainians, Serbians, Greeks, Belarus, Macedonians and Egyptians will be celebrating their festivities. Since there are many Russian expats in Bali, January is always their time of year for visiting and having fun.

There are many Orthodox Christmas celebrations all over the island but dinner should offer pork meat jelly, borscht soup, beef stroganoff, suckling pig or lamb cutlets. New Year is less formal and on Bukit, a southern part of Bali, Russian community organises concert and party every year. Bali is the perfect multicultural island where everybody can feel like at home.■

Bali Pocket Magazine